May 24 - July 21, 2008
Reception for the artist: Saturday, May 24, 3 - 6 pm
F2 Gallery is honored to present "Prodigal Daughter" by Liu Hung, an artist possessing a prominent voice in both the American contemporary art and academic worlds. This exhibition is the first presentation of her work in Beijing since leaving China for North America in 1984. The series of fourteen paintings, each inspired by the 1949 film, Daughters of China, is the continuation of her relentless survey of Chinese history through personal reflections. Known for paintings drawn from Chinese photography and still images taken from Mao-era Chinese propaganda films, Liu often depicts such elemental human activities as laboring and, fighting and, journeying from particular historical circumstances with an overlay of traditional Chinese birds, flowers and insects to elevate her subjects with their own rich heritage to be epic, trans-historical and allegorical.
Born in 1948 in Changchun, China, Liu received her education in Beijing in the 1960s and 70s. Among the first generation to be raised within the Communist People's Republic of China, Liu watched Daughters of China at an early age and believed the rhetoric and propaganda promoted by the film. Fifty-eight years after the film was released, and twenty-three years after having lived and worked in the United States, Liu revisited the film from a very different perspective. Focusing on the film's finale, when seven women soldiers carry their dead commander into the turbulent Ussuri River, thereby drowning themselves and dying with their leader, instead of submitting to a humiliating surrender, Liu's depiction of this sequence investigates the position of women in Chinese society and presents her unique understanding of the world as an artist, as a woman and as a daughter of China in the 21st century. While embracing the film's ideals and innocent passion, Liu also empathetically responds to the eight women soldiers' sacrifice and their unyielding determination. The paintings are characterized by both the heroic and the human, and project an eerie sense of serenity and resignation, despite their underlying context of violence and tragedy. Rather than distancing herself from the dated ideology of the film, Liu recognizes herself in the faithful and the brave. Liu manifests her faith by returning home to China with this body of work, dedicated to China and to all Chinese women from every epoch.
Liu Hung's work is included in the Logan Collection, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Liu Hung - Prodigal Daughter Press Release as pdf-File 531 KB
For further information, please contact Nana at: +86 10 64328831 or +86 13488709596
Beijing 100015 , China
319 Caochangdi, Chao Yang District